Historic Dunkirk Lighthouse
The light was first established on Point Gratiot in 1827, and acted in
tandem with a pierhead beacon to guide ships to the safety of Dunkirk Harbor. The current
tower was constructed in 1875. Illuminated by a fixed third order Fresnel Lens imported
from France, the light is the most prominent on Lake Erie's southern shore, with a
visiblity of 17 miles.
The tower measures 61-feet 3-inches, from its base to the cast iron
ventilator ball on top of the lantern. The focal plane is 82-feet above mean lake level. A
cast-iron spiral stairway leads to a 10-sided lantern.
The two story, eight room stick style keeper's dwelling is an outstanding
example of High Victorian Gothic. It currently houses a Military Museum, with rooms
devoted to the United States Armed Forces: US Coast Guard, US Marine Corps, US Navy, US
Army, US Air Force. It also has displays devoted to the Vietnam War, the Lighthouse
Keeper, a Lighthouse Keeper's Kitchen, a bedroom, and Maritime History.
The displays on the grounds include a 40-foot Lighthouse Bouy Tender, a
21-foot Rescue Boat, anchors, a Civil War Cannon, a Lighthouse Keeper's Rescue Boat, and
The Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse and Veterens Museum complex is located
on Lighthouse Point Drive, off NY Route 5, in Dunkirk, New York. For more
information, phone 716-366-5050.